Monday, July 13, 2009
Uh... Where was I?
My favorite church in Barcelona, Santa Maria Del Mar
So, it was....
London to Paris.
Paris to Bruxelles.
Drive to Germany or through Germany.
Then the Alps.
Security in Toronto... that was something.
Back to normal.
Really? "Back to normal?" I don't think that's possible. For one thing we are still on Barcelona time, so that means we don't know what time it is. For another thing we've seen stuff and been places and we are not the same. We are affected. We miss Speculoos in a jar. We've grown accustomed to baked beans for breakfast and saying "Aloha, parlez vous Español, danke?" Last night I woke up and stared at our room. Stared. I said declaratively, "We are not in France." I could not say for sure where we were, but I was certain it was not France.
I do not miss second hand smoke. By the time we were in Barcelona I was fighting what I thought was second hand emphysema, lots of late night coughing. The coughing kept me up all four nights we were there and in the day I was cranky and bitter. I do not know how I managed to maintain my cool, because my compulsion was to walk up to every smoker and cough in their face, stomp out their fiery little smog sticks and instill them with the obvious wisdom that their cigarettes smelled awful and made life on this planet less sweet. How did I find the strength? Or was it strength that I lacked?
Maybe it was the smoke and city exhaust or maybe it was the pig wrestling in Ballenburg, but I am definitely not well. The cough is subsiding somewhat, but now I have a mild fever, sore throat, and also throat gunk, which is, you know... not pleasant to read about, so I apologize.
Anyway, we are home and there is a lot to reflect on and share about our time in Europe, and then there is the present... the here and now. We have children in summer schools, and Max wants to plan his birthday party. Our family doctor is no longer practicing, so I need to find a new one and obviously none of this is in any particular order, but we need to change light bulbs and figure out why the hose is leaking. Naturally there is laundry to do. Today is Maria's first day of school and I cannot believe I didn't bring my camera, or get her there on time for that matter. My headache is huge.
It could be a while before all of my photographs are transferred to my regular computer. These last images were still on the camera. I cannot believe how fast it all happened. Of course sometimes, like driving in the south of France through Tour Du France traffic, it lasted FOREVER. I look forward to sorting through the pictures and taking it all in again, reliving the things we saw and did. In the meantime it's all a whirr and waking up and wondering "where am I?"
We came home and found a beautiful lasagna in our refrigerator. My sweet mother in law. Wasn't that dear? She knew we'd need sustenance when we got home, so besides watching our psycho cats and runaway chicken for three weeks, she baked us a luscious veggie lasagna.
We did so much in the last three weeks and I have this anxious, passionate desire to keep up the pace, to walk as much and eat as well, and do things and see things and be super productive. I ask Geoff, the kids, "What do you want to keep or adapt from our trip? What new thing have you discovered that you want to retain now that we are home?"
I want to walk everywhere.
I want to hang my clean wash out in the sun to dry.
I want more flowers growing around the house.
I want Belgian beer and Swiss style.
I want to learn French and Catalan.
I want less stuff and more time.
I want to feel at home, to be connected. Here. Anywhere.
I want to wear a dirndl, a sari, and wooden shoes. Not all at once.
I want to cook shawarma.
I want to go back... to visit all those amazing, beautiful, vexing, ridiculous, busy, quiet, breathtaking, peaceful, frenetic, artful, inspiring, dizzying places again and I want to bring my friends and family so we can share the adventure together.
I also think we should have siestas.
It is good to be home.